Ferrari and McLaren are expected to have an edgy battle in the Constructors’ Championship this Formula One season. McLaren finished P3 last season while Ferrari endured its worst season in 40 years to end on P6. During the pre-season testing, it came forth that McLaren had made quite a progress while Ferrari was also over its engine issues that plagued it last season. In the first race of the season (Bahrain Grand Prix), McLaren and Ferrari were close once more with Lando Norris (McLaren) finished fourth while Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc finished on the sixth spot. McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and Carlo Sainz Jr of Ferrari also ended up in the seventh and eighth place, respectively.
“It’s encouraging because last year I remember that with that car (McLaren) I passed Charles (Leclerc) fairly easy, so I remember how big the difference between the McLaren and Ferrari was and how close I was to overtaking Ricciardo at the end. I think I had a much better pace than Daniel towards the end of the race. We were catching at more than half a second per lap and there are positive signs,” Sainz said, who was in the Ferrari for the first time.
“There’s a big step compared to last year and now it’s a matter of keep refining the details, keep working hard back in Maranello and keep improving. We’ve done certainly a very good step and now we want to take the next steps. But as (team principal) Mattia (Binotto) said, this year will be more focused on next year. But I’m encouraged. Honestly, I’m happy with what I’ve seen, I’m happy with my feeling with the car to be the first race and I can see a positive start,” he Sainz.
Leclerc was also hopeful and said, “If I look at where we were last year at exactly the same place, there has been good progress. So surely we want to be fighting for the win very, very soon. But realistically and honestly, we’ve done a great job to catch that and now be closer to McLaren at least and fighting with them in the race, so let’s see at Imola.”